The Last Ten Seconds by Simon Kernick


My Rating: 5/5

Kat’s Review: There are three people involved and none of them can predict just how dangerous things are going to turn out. DI Tina Boyd has a past that is littered with trouble and she just seems to attract it wherever she goes. She has been part of the team that has tracked down and now arrested the serial killer known as `The Night Creeper’. The only problem is he has now been kidnapped and it’s Tina’s job to hunt him down.

Sean Egan is an undercover cop who has managed to become embedded in a dangerous criminal gang posing as another gang member looking for work. He is roped in on a job that means kidnapping the serial killer known as `The Night Creeper’. What he doesn’t realise is that he will be forced to make decisions that could not only end his career but his life too.

The Night Creeper is in custody arrested by DI Boyd. Not only is he a dangerous and sadistic killer but he is acting and looking like an innocent man. The reputation he has built was based on his brutality that all the police witnessed at each of the 5 murders that he committed. The only problem is, once in custody, he is claiming that he has a watertight alibi meaning that if he didn’t commit one, then did he commit any.

OH MY GOD! There are so many words that I just can’t find to explain this book. Corker, cracking, brilliant, exceptional, breathtaking, fast, edgy, the list goes on. What I will say is that this is a five star book that confirms that Simon Kernick deserves his place in the world of crime writing.

I have been an avid Crime and Thriller reader for the best part of 16 years and am shocked at the fact that I only discovered Kernick by reading Relentless a mere 8 months ago. Relentless was itself an absolute gem of a book (for which I rated it 5 out of 5) and I was pleased that I had read one of his books and planned on reading a lot more. Unfortunately for me my `to read’ list was getting longer and Simon Kernick went to the back of my mind. That was until Tuesday of this week, when I wandered into a book shop, only to see his new release sitting there on the shelf. I grabbed it with earnest and placed it at the top of my list as it had been 8 months since I had read Relentless and wanted to see if this was as good as the last one. I needn’t have worried as this book was, if possible, even better than Relentless. Hence the reason for the review a mere 2 days later!

With this authors genius style of writing it took me no more than one chapter to become engrossed. The story hits you in the gut from page one and doesn’t give up until the very last page. It had all the ingredients of a crime book that any reader wants. Great meaty characters, all flawed in their own strange ways. A story that is paced so quickly you feel like you’re in the passenger seat of a Formula One car, and to top it all off a story that takes you on more twists and turns than a roller-coaster ride.

The characters Sean and Tina are written extremely well in the first person and I loved the fact that the switch between the two was easy. Tina has her own demons, as does Sean which always helps towards the realism of a character in my opinion. They weren’t picture perfect and both have the same streak for doing things their way, no matter what the cost, or what rules they have to break. The chapters weren’t too long and were punchy and to the point.

The crime scenes themselves are written extremely graphically, which not to everybody’s taste I understand, was completely relevant to the story and the type of violence that Sean and Tina were surrounded by. I could find no flaws with this book and am already adding him to my pre-order list. I suggest that if you haven’t read a book by Mr Kernick that you add him to your list now, you won’t be disappointed.

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